Sapio Sciences Blog

Keep up with the latest updates concerning Sapio Sciences.

Archive : February 2022


Scientists and laboratory professionals periodically perform searches to determine “what is the best LIMS software.” With so many changes in technology, the results can be overwhelming when you’re comparing one vendor’s LIMS software to another’s.

Scientist at bench

Even though every lab professional’s LIMS needs are different, the main lab software requirements will be the same. You need a LIMS that can:

  • Manage Internal and external requests
  • Guide laboratory scientists through lab processes
  • Increase the quality of results
  • Ensure reproducible results
  • Maintain compliance when in clinical settings
  • Track data related to samples & processes

So, how do you choose which LIMS software is the right fit for your lab? Here are some helpful suggestions, courtesy of Sapio Sciences:

Moving Beyond the LIMS of Yesterday

A LIMS (laboratory information management system) has traditionally been thought of as the building block of laboratory technology strategy. The nascent version began as nothing more than spreadsheets or internally built applications to keep track of inventory management for samples, instruments, and test results. 

Top LIMS vendors were historically known to charge hefty amounts for their applications and take years to deploy. This is because LIMS software was more software development services than a software product. 

The result? The old LIMS was a continuous requirement-gathering exercise that was riddled with custom feature development that often didn’t even meet the needs of research laboratories.

Luckily, companies like Sapio Sciences have turned the basic software into an extensible and fully customizable product.

Current LIMS Products: What to Watch Out For

Most modern LIMS products come with built-in features for sample and inventory management, and we recommend looking for configurable elements that can better suit your lab needs. 

The majority of LIMS products are web-based, which makes it easy for your lab technicians and managers to get started with the software’s out-of-the-box features, even with minimal experience. 

But if you’re looking to integrate instruments, an ELN (electronic laboratory notebook), or an analytics system, keep in mind that not all LIMS are created equal and some products may not offer these types of integrations. 

The problem with many modern LIMS software products is that the complexity of your lab workflows might require configurations that aren’t widely available on the market today. If this sounds like what you’re currently using, you’re being forced to adapt to your software rather than having a software that’s adapted to your business needs.  

You may be right in thinking that the features you need will be delivered in a future version release, but this again slows down the full deployment of the software and increases both real and opportunity costs.

Investing in the Future with LIMS Products

The demands for clinical LIMS software and research LIMS software at pharma and biotech’s are higher than ever before in our current competitive market, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Outside of the typical patient, sample, and inventory management capabilities, the LIMS of tomorrow has to meet many requirements.

When searching for a LIMS solution, be sure to look for a product that offers these key features or characteristics:

  • Low activation energy and high data volume support
  • Ready for rapid deployment 
  • Highly adaptable
  • Easy integration of systems and instruments
  • Low-code or no-code configurations 
  • Flexible processes and workflows
  • Fully configurable data model
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Advanced integrated charting, searching, and analytics
  • Combined LIMS and Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN)

Many lab professionals are looking for silos between applications—such as LIMS, ELN, Lab Execution System (LES), and scientific data management systems (SDMS)—to disappear.

Investing in a centralized laboratory information management system like Sapio LIMS products will prevent silos in your business.

Finding a LIMS with Built-In Integration

As we stated, there are just too many high-quality LIMS software solutions on the market today to stick with a product that isn’t serving your lab workflows or business processes. 

We think you can agree that the best LIMS software is more than just a LIMS. We recommend finding an informatics system that’s built as a platform—or an application-agnostic software that can become any application. 

For example, Sapio Sciences developed Sapio LIMS, Sapio Seamless ELN, and SDMS integrations from its singular platform.

Download Sapio Sciences’s product data sheet to learn more about our lab solution.

Platform Features to Look For

Any application that’s built on top of the platform will inherit its implicit capabilities, so it’s important to choose wisely. Look for platforms that offer:

  • A fully configurable data model
  • Powerful searching
  • Advanced data visualizations
  • Configurable no-code business rules
  • Controlled permissions on data as well as features and functions
  • Full auditability
  • An intuitive user interface
  • Configurable data views
  • Unlimited role support and individual permissions
  • Extensible API that supports multiple languages

LIMS & ELN Software on a Single Platform

Ideally, an ELN will be built on the same platform. Not only will these two solutions share the same data model, but also the same underlying capabilities for enterprise-level search, visualizations, and analytics. With Sapio Sciences’s solutions, you can extend the platform to include your SDMS R&D efforts at your organization.

Why Choose Sapio LIMS?

Sapio LIMS is built on a powerful, scalable informatics platform, and combined with Sapio Seamless ELN, it will break down barriers to collecting and interpreting your data and processes, and accelerate your discovery efforts.

What’s Included in Sapio’s Lab Software Products?

Users will benefit from all key features mentioned above as well as:

  • Integrated chat
  • Permission-based access to data and features
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Science-aware capabilities, such as large and small molecule design
  • Registration capabilities

Sapio LIMS is the only LIMS software or ELN that supports true collaboration with concurrent workflow and experiment support, so scientists can work together and see each other’s experiment updates in real-time.


Buying the Right Electronic Lab Notebook is Hard

Today there are likely 50+ Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN) on the market.  Given that, how is one to find the right one for their needs?  Well, it’s not easy is the truth.  Therefore it’s important to not be hasty in your selection or to simply buy the low cost option that “looks OK.”

ELN’s have Evolved from their Chemistry Roots

If you go back 20 years or so almost all Electronic Lab Notebooks were chemistry focused.  They would help you design molecules, the primary drug type at the time, and inventory them, search for them etc.  If you were a chemist, these were great tools to assist you in your day to day scientific work.  But they really were not intended or designed to be general lab notebooks, or able to deal with new treatment modalities with the introduction of large molecules in more recent times.

The ELN Evolution continues, but now with a heavy focus on Large Molecule

History has repeated itself now with ELN’s now being introduced that target large molecule work with tools like plasmid editors, but also some more general lab notebook capabilities like a registry and general note taking capabilities.   The chem ELN vendors are also trying, usually via acquisition or partnerships, to address their shortcomings in the large molecule space, and the large molecule ELN vendors are trying to incorporate small molecule support as well.

The problem with both ELN approaches is three-fold:

  • They still primarily focus on either small or large molecules and are not general ELN platforms that do equally well in either domain
  • They do not sufficiently address LIMS system needs as this is still viewed as a separate application domain
  • Buying a bunch of different solutions, even with prebuilt integrations, still creates a discontinuity of workflow, user and administrative experience

A Digital Transformation Perspective

Instead of looking to buy an ELN or a LIMS, you should look for an informatics platform that unites both LIMS and ELN features into a single, low-code, no-code solution.  The ideal electronic lab notebook should also be the ideal LIMS system, no matter what types of drugs you are creating or processes you are modeling.  It should also include science aware tools for designing molecules, reactions, plasmids, or CRISPR even.  But it should also include powerful searching, data visualizations, and informatics so you can search, visualize and analyse data across your enterprise that has been digitally transformed.  It should be quickly adaptable, the hallmark of a platform, even if it lacks something you need.

What to watch out for

Some vendors perform excellent packaged demos, and/or instead of selling their solution sell you on who else they have sold to.  Also watch out for vendors whose organization is largely comprised of sales people.  If you are getting calls from multiple sales people from the same company, run the other way!

It’s critical to perform your own, detailed evaluation!  Make the vendor do a deep dive into their product…get them outside their comfort zone by presenting challenges to them that go beyond their well crafted demo.  If they don’t step up to the plate and show they can do it then its likely their solution is not really a platform and will be hard to implement or even get to do what you need at all no matter the amount of money and time you throw at it.

We will close with a comment from Kevin, our CEO and Chief Scientist, “Increasingly biotech and pharma R&D organizations are looking for our unified low-code, no-code informatics platform on which all our applications are built and tightly integrated.  This enables our customers to digitally transform their organizations to streamline their operations, reduce costs and accelerate discovery which is our driving mission.  We aim to support design of molecules, both small and large…to make data collection and searching easy, and then to enable powerful data visualizations and assistive data interpretation using advanced analytics and machine learning to facilitate scientists R&D efforts.”